Having won its long-running battle to go private – with a significant helping hand from Microsoft – it looks like Dell is paying a little interest on that $2 billion loan. Dell Software has announced a number of new mobility offerings, including SonicWALL secure mobile access solutions embedded with Windows 8.1.
Dell Software has been developing mobile application downloads for a little while, but while they were serving the Google Android and Apple iOS markets, through their respective App Stores, this is the first Windows 8.1 offering, which will come embedded on Microsoft tablets and phones, said Jane Wasson, Sr. Product Marketing Manager For Mobile Security. While it is too early to gauge how popular this will be, she said there’s already been strong demand for SonicWALL Mobile Connect downloads. She anticipates that as Windows 8.1 is adopted, the app will also see strong demand.
This is something new for us, developing customized mobile apps, said Dell Software’s Ken Drachnik, Director of Product Marketing, Endpoint System Management Group. With customers becoming increasingly mobile, this is a growing market opportunity. “This represents the first of a line of mobile apps we have in mind.”
There is a growing need to unchain IT from their desks, he said. IT must embrace new support models and mobile-enabled tools to secure, manage and maintain devices that don’t fit naturally into traditional service and support structures, stated Dell. According to Forrester Research, employees use many different devices, from desktops (85 percent), laptops and netbooks (63 percent) to tablets (21 percent) and smartphones (48 percent).
To tap into this opportunity, Dell announced a new endpoint systems management solution for performing real-time, in-field systems management from a tablet or smartphone. The KACE K1000 GO apps for Android and iOS devices allow IT admins to review and respond to service desk notifications while away from their PC, prioritize and expedite problem resolutions, and deploy software more easily and efficiently, said Dell.
Mobility and software are just two of the areas Dell is pouring resources into as it tries to reduce its dependence upon the commodity PC market. Earlier this month it announced a higher-performing flash storage solution that is cheaper than top-end disk. In August it beefed up its networking portfolio with some VMware-related announcements. Then there was cloud news in June, along with supercomputing news, and May’s Citrix/thin client/VDI offerings.
This is still early days for Dell’s software business, but Technology Business Research believes it bolsters Dell’s solutions play and will contribute to long-term corporate revenue growth in the next two years. ‘Although Software does not yet contribute significantly to corporate revenue (Software revenue of $310 million during 2Q13 compared to corporate revenue of $14.5 billion), TBR believes that Dell Software will be a pivotal piece of the company’s turnaround, providing the foundation for software and services growth over the next two years.”
Commenting on Dell’s integrated approach to endpoint security, Jon Oltsik, Senior Principal Analyst. Enterprise Strategy Group, noted that the company has a strong position and a treasure chest of resources. To succeed with the Global 2,000, however, Dell must: sell high in the enterprise; expand the offerings with things like vulnerability scanning, patch management, and a security-centric endpoint asset/configuration database over time; embrace and extend its management purview to non-Dell devices as well; and integrate with SonicWall, SecureWorks, and a partner ecosystem.
Wasson sees new opportunities by integrating and leveraging the company’s various assets at the same time the various markets and technologies are converging. “Dell is extremely well positioned because we do have all of those key pieces.”
Under The Hood
Dell KACE K1000 GO app includes:
-real-time alerts of ticket events through push notification to Android and iOS devices
-streamlined workflow for creating, escalating and resolving trouble tickets
-drill-down, detailed systems inventory to rapidly identify dependencies and root causes
-“On the fly” software distribution to accelerate updates
SonicWALL Mobile Connect application, in combination with SonicWALL E-Class Secure Remote Access (SRA) for enterprise appliance (v10.7.0), adds:
-at-a-glance dashboard to streamline management of remote access status, and simplify access to more mission-critical applications, corporate web sources, file shares and client server resources
Modular Mobility Consulting Services include:
-analysis of customer needs based on in-depth interviews across the organization
-development of a mobility roadmap that takes into account both current and future operational landscapes
-current available modules address Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Content Management (MCM); additional modules are in development